Teach me to listen, Lord.
Teach me to pray, Lord.
Teach me to learn, Lord.
Teach me to help others, Lord.
When the seventh month came and the people of Israel were settled in their towns, all the people gathered together in the area in front of the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Instruction scroll from Moses, according to which the Lord had instructed Israel.
So on the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Instruction before the assembly. This assembly was made up of both men and women and anyone who could understand what they heard. Facing the area in front of the Water Gate, he read it aloud, from early morning until the middle of the day. He read it in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand, and everyone listened attentively to the Instruction scroll.
When I was in 3rd grade, every day after lunch my teacher, Mrs. Nelson, would turn off the lights, invite us to a carpet square at the front of the room, and read to us a chapter of a book. It was my favorite time of day! Not only was it a break from the rigors of work at my desk, but the kind tone of Mrs. Nelson’s voice and the books she selected always encouraged me to consider picking up similar books to read on my own at home.
The same is true of scripture and the passage we just read from the book of Nehemiah. Ezra, the teacher, taught the people to love God’s word because he read it aloud to them.
Reading scripture with friends, siblings, or parents might not be “cool” or a practice we’ve ever tried. But maybe we should consider it. For when we read scripture to each other, something happens to those who hear our voice — we have a chance to hear God anew!
Elizabeth Evans Hagan
Lord, remind me that my walk of faith is not one I do alone. We need each other. We need to read your scriptures together. Amen.
God’s grace and peace offers us many opportunities to learn and serve.
As you go, be open to the Spirit!